Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The 1965 Simmons Hide-A-Bed

I've been a lover of all things mid-century for many years, probably because I grew up in a home filled with sturdy, modest mid-century furnishings, and was raised by parents with solid mid-century lives.  It all just sort of rubbed off on me.  I also have several friends who have purchased mid-century homes, which I drool over when I visit, dreaming of the decorating, landscaping and entertaining possibilities.  Martinis and jazz, anyone?

So, when I discover mid-century pieces at local thrift stores, I have an instinct to purchase whatever it is for myself, or to photograph and text my friends to come purchase for themselves.  Which brings me to the mid-century Hide-A-Bed that I found at the local Goodwill three years ago.   It was a dusty, tired mess, but solid and heavy as a rock.  A quick search on Google revealed that it was a 1965 Simmons Hide-A-Bed Tuxedo.  Everything was original, right down to the upholstery, the small arm pillows AND mattress (frightening, I know).  And it was $65.  I convinced Eric that it was the perfect piece for The Bungalow office/guest room, that I would pay to have it re-upholstered myself, and that we would all three live happily ever after.  And one day I expect that he will stop taking my phone calls.

Three hours later, after the Simmons Hide-A-Bed gouged our wooden floor, scraped two of our door frames and drawn blood from the movers (my forgiving husband and my truck-owning friend), I made the decision that I would teach myself how to re-upholster the sofa myself because it was NEVER leaving the house again.  And really, how hard would it be to re-upholster a sofa...

With new mattress purchased, I began to research DIY re-upholstery and discovered a blog post by Abby Metz at DIY Design.  Abby’s determination, resourcefulness (reusing tackstrips and such) and attention to detail resonated with me.  The only thing missing from her post was how to recover the cushions, but that was something I was able to figure out on my own by taking apart the cushion covers myself (labeling and numbering and reusing the original zippers).  Abby’s blog post was perfect.  I read and reread it for probably a full year before I finally pulled the trigger on my own project. And it only took me two years to complete!  Seriously, it didn’t take that long...I just worked on it in two phases because, you know, life.  I tackled the cushions last summer, then upholstered the body this past January.  It is Booker’s favorite sofa to sleep on, which freaks me out because it’s like he knows all the work I put into it and he tries to psych me out by kicking off all the pillows and burrowing frantically under the pet cover we keep on it to protect it.  Many a night Eric and I will search for the dog only to discover him hidden under that cover, laughing at us.  

Fresh from the Goodwill!

Taking apart the cushion cover.

Cushions complete.

Pre-upholstered body.

Removing the back panel.

Removing the arm upholstery.

Removing old batting.


Fitting the new arm piece.

Cutting the front kick panel.

Pulling the front back off.

Going off script for the back.

After two days and sixty adjustments.


Where's Booker?

Right here.

Waking up.

Still waking up. Or he's laughing at us.  I don't know which.